Featured Artist: Wayne Longhurst
I am pleased to introduce you to Wayne Longhurst, an artist and printmaker from Sussex that I had the pleasure of interviewing this month. He resides in Worthing where he operates a small home print studio.
What would you say is your philosophy when it comes to your artwork?
See it / Cut it / Print it
That's probably my style in a nutshell! I like to print things that I like...probably sounds extremely 'cliché', but hey…
Sometimes I'll be out and about, see something and think 'oh look, that'll make a great print'…things tend to go from there.
As a result, I don't tend to have a specific subject matter, but, for me, that is what keeps me coming back to my little studio (which some might call a spare bedroom that I have taken over).
I enjoy the constant experimentation with how far I can push the lino and myself. Every day is a school day!
So, what is your preferred medium and subject matter?
Lino, lino, lino (did I mention Lino?)
I tend not to have a specific subject matter that I focus on. If I had to describe my preference, I would say ‘Eclectic’. I’ve printed anything from Text, to Trees, to Star Wars, to Sea Gulls! And enjoyed every one of them!
You do seem to have an eclectic collection of work. Can you tell me a bit more about the series of prints you submitted for this interview?
This is a perfect example of being inspired by what I see. Whilst eating a packet of Starburst (other juicy sweets are available…), I had a brain wave. Perhaps it was the fact my studio contains a lot of Star Wars paraphernalia, but ‘Death Starburst’ just popped into my head!
So, this is a three-plate print of the Death Star in Starburst colors.
Also, this shows the versatility of lino plates. I have created a more traditional Death Star print (in grey/black), called ‘That’s No Moon’ and a 5-piece run called ‘The Phases of the Death Star’.
Each one is 8”x8”
Pardon the pun; but I love the Circus Carney text. And it’s really versatile for creating prints from.
This print was created from a single plate, using the reduction method. I wanted 5, but unfortunately 2 didn’t quite go to plan. All part of the learning curve!
I carved this during the Worthing Artist Open House event. As it is a three-weekend event, I was able to show the progress being made to visitors, and on the last weekend I revealed to final print. It was great having people watching me carve and it generated so many interesting questions.
This was a reduction print, with 5 shades of ink used. 16 were produced.
Tree on the Downs
(I haven't decided a final name for this print yet!)
My most tricky carve yet, but really worth it! It’s actually the only print that I have timed to date. It took me 8.5 hours to carve over a few weekends.
The tree is at the top of steep climb in the South Downs national park. Whenever I walk up there I always have to stop and take a look at its amazing shape.
How did you get started with Printmaking?
I was inspired to try out lino printing when I first met a fantastic lino artist, Lee Wright, in south Wales.
I had never come across the medium before (it must have skipped my generation whilst at school. We didn’t even do potato printing!), but after seeing the work he was producing and the work by other lino cut artist, I had to give it a go!
So, I searched around on good old Amazon and bought myself a basic starter kit.
That must have been around 3 years ago now…or is it maybe 4…time flies when you’re having fun!
What is the thing that you love most about Printmaking?
Once again, I am going into cliché territory, but I love the fact that I start with a plain old boring looking piece of battleship grey lino, and after hours of drawing, carving, inking, printing I end up with a colorful piece of art!
Last year I took part in the local Worthing Artist Open House event. This was the first time I had ever publicly displayed any of my work. Needlessly to say, I was very nervous. However, it was a great experience and I hugely enjoyed talking to people about how the prints were produced and the feedback I got was wonderful. That was a great feeling.
I’m really looking forward to this year’s Open House event, where I shall be collaborating with another local artist, who produces Black and White analogue photos from his own dark room. It’s going to be great to see the contrast in color!
What is the thing that you struggle with most in your Printmaking?
Stopping my mind from wandering too much! I’m always thinking of different ideas or things that I want to print, even whilst I am working on a print. I have to learn to make notes of my ideas, and then I can focus on the task at hand! I’m getting better….I suppose I can't complain too much, at least I have ideas flowing…
Also, there is never enough time…
Is printmaking/art what you do full-time?
Oh boy, I wish I did! But unfortunately, no. May be someday, fingers crossed.
Until then I shall continue to print in the evenings and weekends.
Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?
If you are reading and thinking ‘I want to give that a go’, or ‘I could do that’, or you have wanted to try printmaking, but haven’t gotten around to it, or don’t feel that you can, I would say that you should certainly give it a go! You never know where it could lead!
3 (or 4?) years ago, I was having the exact same thoughts. At the time I never thought I would have my artwork up on the wall, let alone be selling some! It’s an amazing feeling. Go for it!
If you are looking for inspiration, social media is a great resource! I follow so many great artists on Instagram, and a day doesn’t go by where I don’t think; ‘I wish I was that good!’
Also, if Linocut is your thing, then I can thoroughly recommend joining the ‘linocut friends’ group on Facebook. It’s such a good group for asking questions and getting great advice in reply.
So how can people find you online?
My website is http://longhurstlino.wordpress.com
You can also find me on social media at the following:
Nowhere else online at the moment, but if you happen to be in the area, why not pop in and say hello on the Worthing Artist Open trail! It’s the last two weekends in June, and the first weekend in July 2017.
Thank you SO MUCH to Wayne for taking the time to interview with us! I think he brings a great window into getting started as a printmaker and still has that joy of discovery after 4 years into the art!
Thanks to our readers as well, who have read this far! Please leave a comment with your thoughts and get a discussion going! This is a wonderful opportunity to bring some minds together!
If you're interested in being a featured artist, contact me at JustPrintmaking@gmail.com
I plan to feature a new artist every month through an interview process similar to this.